P.T. Anderson May Have Funding for 'Inherent Vice' & 'The Master'
The last time we heard about the Scientology centric drama The Master from Paul Thomas Anderson, the project had unfortunately been delayed indefinitely. Not only did Universal pass on the script in March, but despite a cast that included Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jeremy Renner, Anderson just kept hitting a wall with the story and it became dead in the water. Then came another project from the director in the form of an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's new book Inherent Vice which may or may not star Robert Downey Jr. Well, the good news is both of these projects may now have the funding to move forward more easily.
Vulture reports heiress Megan Ellison, the 25-year old daughter of Oracle Corporation founder Larry Ellison, is in negotiations to co-finance both of Anderson's features. Apparently the woman who was once a rich little party girl has suddenly become a very serious producer in the film industry. Plenty of other producers and agents learned how serious she was after she co-financed the Coen Brothers remake of True Grit. Now she's also put the money behind John Hillcoat's adaptation of The Wettest County in the World with Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy.
With Inherent Vice, along with the financing, Vulture has learned that Anderson has even received a full blessing from Thomas Pynchon to go ahead with the project. In addition, the writer/director has had frequent discussions with the author about the project and is already halfway done with his second draft of the script. If you don't recall, the story follows Larry "Doc" Sportello, a pothead private eye wandering through the Summer (and winter) of Love in 1969 Los Angeles.
With The Master, the delay after Universal's passing on the project has resulted in losing Jeremy Renner from the cast. For a refresher, that story follows a disaffected disciple’s relationship with the founder of a new spiritual movement called the Cause (which very obviously shares traits with Scientology) and examines the human need to believe in a Creator. Renner would have played an alcoholic acolyte of the Cause's founder who is likely to still be played Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Just the prospect of one new project from Paul Thomas Anderson is amazing news, but the fact that two of his projects will likely have the funding to get off the ground is absolutely fantastic. Since Anderson hasn't made a film since 2007's There Will Be Blood, I'm foaming at the mouth for another masterpiece from the director. And if those projects include Philip Seymour Hoffman (my favorite actor) and Robert Downey, Jr., then it's like Christmas all over again. What do you think?